Bergen, 24. October 2008
His Excellency Hamid Karzai
President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Mr Hameed Nasry Wardak
Ministry of Information and Cultural Affairs
Tel: +93 700 989 696
Mr Humayun Hamidzada
Spokesperson for President Karzai
Tel: +93 797 163 355
As a member of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN, I am deeply concerned by the twenty-year sentence handed down to journalist and twenty-three year old Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh.
Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh has been sentenced by a Kabul appeal court on 21 October 2008, which commuted the death sentence but upheld his conviction for “blasphemy”. Kambakshsh detained by National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces on blasphemy charges after allegedly downloading and distributing to friends an article that said the Prophet Mohammed ignored women’s rights. Kambakhsh was not the author of the article. He was also reportedly accused of possessing allegedly anti-Islamic books and starting un-Islamic debates in his classes.
I seek your assurance, Your Excellency President Karzai, to intervene to secure his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Afghan law and Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,
Member of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN
The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
National Day: 19 August – National Day
Chancery: Kronprinsens gate 17, 0244 Oslo
Telephone: 22 83 84 10
Telefax: 22 83 84 11